List iconHenry VI, Part 3List icon

Henry VI, Part 3
Act 3, scene 2

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Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

The English crown changes hands often in Henry VI, Part 3. At first, Richard, Duke of York, is allied with Warwick….

Act 1, scene 1

Richard, Duke of York, aided by the Earl of Warwick, occupies King Henry VI’s throne. Faced with Warwick’s soldiers, Henry…

Act 1, scene 2

York is persuaded by his sons Edward and Richard to break his oath to Henry and fight for the crown….

Act 1, scene 3

Rutland, youngest son of York, is killed by Lord Clifford as revenge against York, who killed Clifford’s father.

Act 1, scene 4

At the battle of Wakefield, York is captured by the victorious Queen Margaret, Prince Edward, Lord Clifford, and the Earl…

Act 2, scene 1

Edward and Richard receive the news of their father’s death. Warwick then brings news of the Yorkist defeat at St….

Act 2, scene 2

Warwick and the Yorkists confront King Henry, Margaret, the newly knighted Prince Edward, and the other Lancastrians. Both the Lancastrian…

Act 2, scene 3

Warwick retires from the battle and meets Edward, Richard, and George. They all fear defeat, but take their farewells and…

Act 2, scene 4

Richard and Clifford fight. When Warwick enters, Clifford flees. Richard prepares to search for Clifford in order to fight to…

Act 2, scene 5

As the battle of Towton proceeds, King Henry contemplates his unhappy life as king and then observes as a young…

Act 2, scene 6

Lord Clifford enters wounded to the death. Warwick, Edward, Richard, and George find Clifford’s body and taunt him. They prepare…

Act 3, scene 1

King Henry is captured by two gamekeepers, who now owe allegiance to King Edward.

Act 3, scene 2

King Edward, while hearing Lady Grey’s petition for her dead husband’s land, decides he wants her for his mistress; she…

Act 3, scene 3

As Queen Margaret persuades the French king Lewis to support her and Prince Edward, Warwick arrives with the offer of…

Act 4, scene 1

King Edward learns of Warwick’s defection and orders that troops be levied in preparation for war. Clarence decides to join…

Act 4, scene 2

Warwick and Clarence prepare to surprise King Edward, who awaits the French troops in a lightly guarded camp.

Act 4, scene 3

Warwick, Clarence, and their troops capture King Edward, remove his crown, and send him captive to the Archbishop of York….

Act 4, scene 4

King Edward’s wife, Queen Elizabeth, hearing of Edward’s capture, fears for her life and that of her unborn child. She…

Act 4, scene 5

Richard rescues King Edward from his captivity. They prepare to sail to Flanders.

Act 4, scene 6

Warwick rescues King Henry from imprisonment in the Tower of London. Henry turns over the government to Warwick and Clarence.

Act 4, scene 7

Edward, having returned from Flanders with a supporting army, enters the city of York, claiming that he wants only his…

Act 4, scene 8

King Henry, left at the Bishop’s Palace in London while Warwick and other Lancastrian leaders search for additional troops, is…

Act 5, scene 1

At Coventry, Warwick awaits the arrival of Clarence. Other forces arrive in Warwick’s support. King Edward then arrives, and is…

Act 5, scene 2

At the battle of Barnet, King Edward brings in a wounded Warwick and leaves him to his death. Lancastrian lords…

Act 5, scene 3

King Edward, Richard, and Clarence are triumphant after the battle of Barnet, but they know they must now meet Queen…

Act 5, scene 4

Queen Margaret rallies her forces despite Henry’s capture and Warwick’s death. King Edward and his forces enter. The battle of…

Act 5, scene 5

Queen Margaret and other Lancastrian leaders are brought in as captives. King Edward sends out orders to find Prince Edward….

Act 5, scene 6

Richard kills King Henry in the Tower, and then begins to plot his own way to the crown, now that…

Act 5, scene 7

King Edward celebrates the Yorkist triumph by having Richard and Clarence kiss his infant son. Richard, while outwardly loving the…

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Scene 2
Enter King Edward, Richard, Duke of Gloucester,
George, Duke of Clarence, Lady Grey,
and Attendants.


KING EDWARD 
 Brother of Gloucester, at Saint Albans field
 This lady’s husband, Sir Richard Grey, was slain,
 His land then seized on by the conqueror.
 Her suit is now to repossess those lands,
5 Which we in justice cannot well deny,
 Because in quarrel of the house of York
 The worthy gentleman did lose his life.
RICHARD 
 Your Highness shall do well to grant her suit;
 It were dishonor to deny it her.
KING EDWARD 
10 It were no less, but yet I’ll make a pause.
RICHARD, aside to Clarence Yea, is it so?
 I see the lady hath a thing to grant
 Before the King will grant her humble suit.
CLARENCE, formerly GEORGE, aside to Richard 
 He knows the game; how true he keeps the wind!
RICHARD, aside to Clarence 15Silence!
KING EDWARD 
 Widow, we will consider of your suit,
 And come some other time to know our mind.
LADY GREY 
 Right gracious lord, I cannot brook delay.
 May it please your Highness to resolve me now,
20 And what your pleasure is shall satisfy me.
RICHARD, aside to Clarence 
 Ay, widow? Then I’ll warrant you all your lands,
 An if what pleases him shall pleasure you.
 Fight closer, or, good faith, you’ll catch a blow.

125
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 3. SC. 2

CLARENCE, aside to Richard 
 I fear her not, unless she chance to fall.
RICHARD, aside to Clarence 
25 God forbid that, for he’ll take vantages.
KING EDWARD 
 How many children hast thou, widow? Tell me.
CLARENCE, aside to Richard 
 I think he means to beg a child of her.
RICHARD, aside to Clarence 
 Nay, then, whip me; he’ll rather give her two.
LADY GREY Three, my most gracious lord.
RICHARD, aside to Clarence 
30 You shall have four if you’ll be ruled by him.
KING EDWARD 
 ’Twere pity they should lose their father’s lands.
LADY GREY 
 Be pitiful, dread lord, and grant it then.
KING EDWARD 
 Lords, give us leave. I’ll try this widow’s wit.
Richard and Clarence stand aside.
RICHARD, aside to Clarence 
 Ay, good leave have you, for you will have leave
35 Till youth take leave and leave you to the crutch.
KING EDWARD 
 Now tell me, madam, do you love your children?
LADY GREY 
 Ay, full as dearly as I love myself.
KING EDWARD 
 And would you not do much to do them good?
LADY GREY 
 To do them good I would sustain some harm.
KING EDWARD 
40 Then get your husband’s lands to do them good.
LADY GREY 
 Therefore I came unto your Majesty.

127
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 3. SC. 2

KING EDWARD 
 I’ll tell you how these lands are to be got.
LADY GREY 
 So shall you bind me to your Highness’ service.
KING EDWARD 
 What service wilt thou do me if I give them?
LADY GREY 
45 What you command that rests in me to do.
KING EDWARD 
 But you will take exceptions to my boon.
LADY GREY 
 No, gracious lord, except I cannot do it.
KING EDWARD 
 Ay, but thou canst do what I mean to ask.
LADY GREY 
 Why, then, I will do what your Grace commands.
RICHARD, aside to Clarence 
50 He plies her hard, and much rain wears the marble.
CLARENCE, aside to Richard 
 As red as fire! Nay, then, her wax must melt.
LADY GREY 
 Why stops my lord? Shall I not hear my task?
KING EDWARD 
 An easy task; ’tis but to love a king.
LADY GREY 
 That’s soon performed because I am a subject.
KING EDWARD 
55 Why, then, thy husband’s lands I freely give thee.
LADY GREY 
 I take my leave with many thousand thanks.
She curtsies and begins to exit.
RICHARD, aside to Clarence 
 The match is made; she seals it with a cursy.
KING EDWARD 
 But stay thee; ’tis the fruits of love I mean.

129
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 3. SC. 2

LADY GREY 
 The fruits of love I mean, my loving liege.
KING EDWARD 
60 Ay, but, I fear me, in another sense.
 What love, think’st thou, I sue so much to get?
LADY GREY 
 My love till death, my humble thanks, my prayers,
 That love which virtue begs and virtue grants.
KING EDWARD 
 No, by my troth, I did not mean such love.
LADY GREY 
65 Why, then, you mean not as I thought you did.
KING EDWARD 
 But now you partly may perceive my mind.
LADY GREY 
 My mind will never grant what I perceive
 Your Highness aims at, if I aim aright.
KING EDWARD 
 To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee.
LADY GREY 
70 To tell you plain, I had rather lie in prison.
KING EDWARD 
 Why, then, thou shalt not have thy husband’s lands.
LADY GREY 
 Why, then, mine honesty shall be my dower,
 For by that loss I will not purchase them.
KING EDWARD 
 Therein thou wrong’st thy children mightily.
LADY GREY 
75 Herein your Highness wrongs both them and me.
 But, mighty lord, this merry inclination
 Accords not with the sadness of my suit.
 Please you dismiss me either with ay or no.
KING EDWARD 
 Ay, if thou wilt say “ay” to my request;
80 No, if thou dost say “no” to my demand.

131
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 3. SC. 2

LADY GREY 
 Then no, my lord; my suit is at an end.
RICHARD, aside to Clarence 
 The widow likes him not; she knits her brows.
CLARENCE, aside to Richard 
 He is the bluntest wooer in Christendom.
KING EDWARD, aside 
 Her looks doth argue her replete with modesty;
85 Her words doth show her wit incomparable;
 All her perfections challenge sovereignty.
 One way or other, she is for a king,
 And she shall be my love or else my queen.—
 Say that King Edward take thee for his queen?
LADY GREY 
90 ’Tis better said than done, my gracious lord.
 I am a subject fit to jest withal,
 But far unfit to be a sovereign.
KING EDWARD 
 Sweet widow, by my state I swear to thee
 I speak no more than what my soul intends,
95 And that is, to enjoy thee for my love.
LADY GREY 
 And that is more than I will yield unto.
 I know I am too mean to be your queen
 And yet too good to be your concubine.
KING EDWARD 
 You cavil, widow; I did mean my queen.
LADY GREY 
100 ’Twill grieve your Grace my sons should call you
 father.
KING EDWARD 
 No more than when my daughters call thee mother.
 Thou art a widow and thou hast some children,
 And, by God’s mother, I, being but a bachelor,
105 Have other some. Why, ’tis a happy thing
 To be the father unto many sons.
 Answer no more, for thou shalt be my queen.

133
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 3. SC. 2

RICHARD, aside to Clarence 
 The ghostly father now hath done his shrift.
CLARENCE, aside to Richard 
 When he was made a shriver, ’twas for shift.
KING EDWARD 
110 Brothers, you muse what chat we two have had.
RICHARD 
 The widow likes it not, for she looks very sad.
KING EDWARD 
 You’d think it strange if I should marry her.
CLARENCE 
 To who, my lord?
KING EDWARD  Why, Clarence, to myself.
RICHARD 
115 That would be ten days’ wonder at the least.
CLARENCE 
 That’s a day longer than a wonder lasts.
RICHARD 
 By so much is the wonder in extremes.
KING EDWARD 
 Well, jest on, brothers. I can tell you both
 Her suit is granted for her husband’s lands.

Enter a Nobleman.

NOBLEMAN 
120 My gracious lord, Henry, your foe, is taken
 And brought your prisoner to your palace gate.
KING EDWARD 
 See that he be conveyed unto the Tower.
Nobleman exits.
 And go we, brothers, to the man that took him,
 To question of his apprehension.—
125 Widow, go you along.—Lords, use her honorably.
They exit.
Richard remains.


135
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 3. SC. 2

RICHARD 
 Ay, Edward will use women honorably!
 Would he were wasted—marrow, bones, and all—
 That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring
 To cross me from the golden time I look for.
130 And yet, between my soul’s desire and me,
 The lustful Edward’s title burièd,
 Is Clarence, Henry, and his son, young Edward,
 And all the unlooked-for issue of their bodies
 To take their rooms ere I can place myself.
135 A cold premeditation for my purpose.
 Why, then, I do but dream on sovereignty
 Like one that stands upon a promontory
 And spies a far-off shore where he would tread,
 Wishing his foot were equal with his eye,
140 And chides the sea that sunders him from thence,
 Saying he’ll lade it dry to have his way.
 So do I wish the crown, being so far off,
 And so I chide the means that keeps me from it,
 And so, I say, I’ll cut the causes off,
145 Flattering me with impossibilities.
 My eye’s too quick, my heart o’erweens too much,
 Unless my hand and strength could equal them.
 Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard,
 What other pleasure can the world afford?
150 I’ll make my heaven in a lady’s lap
 And deck my body in gay ornaments,
 And ’witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
 O miserable thought, and more unlikely
 Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns!
155 Why, Love forswore me in my mother’s womb,
 And, for I should not deal in her soft laws,
 She did corrupt frail Nature with some bribe
 To shrink mine arm up like a withered shrub;
 To make an envious mountain on my back,

137
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 3. SC. 2

160 Where sits Deformity to mock my body;
 To shape my legs of an unequal size;
 To disproportion me in every part,
 Like to a chaos, or an unlicked bear-whelp,
 That carries no impression like the dam.
165 And am I then a man to be beloved?
 O monstrous fault to harbor such a thought!
 Then, since this Earth affords no joy to me
 But to command, to check, to o’erbear such
 As are of better person than myself,
170 I’ll make my heaven to dream upon the crown,
 And, whiles I live, t’ account this world but hell
 Until my misshaped trunk that bears this head
 Be round impalèd with a glorious crown.
 And yet I know not how to get the crown,
175 For many lives stand between me and home;
 And I, like one lost in a thorny wood,
 That rents the thorns and is rent with the thorns,
 Seeking a way and straying from the way,
 Not knowing how to find the open air,
180 But toiling desperately to find it out,
 Torment myself to catch the English crown.
 And from that torment I will free myself
 Or hew my way out with a bloody axe.
 Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile,
185 And cry “Content” to that which grieves my heart,
 And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
 And frame my face to all occasions.
 I’ll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall;
 I’ll slay more gazers than the basilisk;
190 I’ll play the orator as well as Nestor,
 Deceive more slyly than Ulysses could,
 And, like a Sinon, take another Troy.
 I can add colors to the chameleon,
 Change shapes with Proteus for advantages,

139
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 3. SC. 3

195 And set the murderous Machiavel to school.
 Can I do this and cannot get a crown?
 Tut, were it farther off, I’ll pluck it down.
He exits.